Donald Trump Jr. has come under intense scrutiny for taking a meeting in 2016 with a lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya who he had been promised would be bringing him dirt from the Russian government on Hillary Clinton. When news of the meeting finally leaked out, he wasn’t at all forthcoming about why he’d met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, insisting it was just to talk about “adoption.”
As mentioned, the meeting most certainly wasn’t just about adoption. Rather, adoption played into the conversations only in the context of the fact that Russia had retaliated against sanctions that Veselnitskaya was lobbying against while speaking to Trump Jr. by suspending an adoption program that connected Russian children with American families.
It came out on Monday that President Donald Trump himself was the one behind his son’s deceptive initial statement about the meeting with Veselnitskaya, and now, at Tuesday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has admitted that yes, Trump “weighed in” during the crafting of his son’s statement.
Sanders told reporters on Tuesday:
‘The statement that Don Jr. issued is true. There’s no inaccuracy in the statement. The President weighed in as any father would, based on the limited information that he had.’
Sanders is technically correct that there is no inaccuracy in Trump Jr.’s statement. However, in leaving out the fact that the meeting was an attempt at cooperating with the Russian government — and not just about “adoption” — the statement was deceptive at best.
For Trump to have “weighed in” as he did on the crafting of his son’s statement has already been pointed out as yet another instance of apparent obstruction of justice on his part. With every incident like this, the amount of complete incompetence on Trump’s part that has to be present to make up for the appearance of guilt gets bigger and bigger.
Sanders’ admittance of Trump’s involvement in crafting his son’s statement marks a curious departure from the previous norm of the Press Secretary simply denying everything. Perhaps Sanders is just that much more competent than her predecessor, even if that’s not necessarily a good thing since her job is to be devil’s advocate.
Watch a short clip of Sanders’ remarks below.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 1, 2017
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